Election 2018Hot SheetNeighbor states

Border-straddling candidate is defeated in Wyoming

Author: Mark Harden - August 22, 2018 - Updated: August 22, 2018

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Wyoming GOP gubernatorial candidate Taylor Haynes at a campaign event in Cheyenne, Wyo., in a 2014 file photo. Haynes was defeated in the Aug. 21 Republican primary. (AP Photo/Ben Neary, File)

From now on, Taylor Haynes can live on whatever side of the Colorado-Wyoming state line he likes.

Haynes — who was almost kicked out of the race over residency questions — was defeated Tuesday night in the Equality State’s crowded Republican primary for governor.

The New York Times reports that Haynes finished fifth, with less than 6 percent of the GOP vote. Mark Gordon was the primary victor and will face Democrat Mary Throne in November.

State officials had tried to have Haynes barred from the race, alleging that his main residence at one point over the last five years was just over the state line in Colorado, in violation of Wyoming constitutional rules for gubernatorial candidates.

The ranch where Haynes lived during parts of 2014 and 2015 straddles the Wyoming-Colorado line. State officials say Haynes lived on the Colorado side.

Under the state constitution, a candidate for governor must have lived in Wyoming state continuously for at least five years before the general election.

Wyoming officials, including Secretary of State Ed Buchanan, had asked Laramie County District Judge Thomas Campbell to declare Haynes ineligible to campaign for governor. On Aug. 3, Campbell rejected that request, largely because the primary was so close, but he did not rule on the largest question of Haynes’ eligibility to serve as governor.

Haynes — who has been a rancher, surgeon and mechanical engineer — had called the attempt to block his candidacy “politically motivated.”

He told the Associated Press a few weeks ago that his ranch “does straddle the Wyoming-Colorado border, however, the contract for deed and the title for the ranch, including the residence, have a Wyoming address. All licenses, including driver’s licenses and license plates, taxes, utilities, registrations, fees, etc., are paid to Wyoming. There is no Colorado address in existence for the ranch and no road access to Colorado.”

Mark Harden

Mark Harden

Mark Harden is managing editor of Colorado Politics. He previously was news director at the Denver Business Journal; city editor, online news editor, state editor, national editor and popular music critic at The Denver Post; and an editor and reporter at newspapers in the Seattle area and San Francisco.